May of 2012 saw the release of the My Father “Flor de las Antillas.” The cigar was named in honor of Jaime Garcia’s family home, which is located on the largest of the Greater Antillas Islands, Cuba. This cigar is a blooming flower in the My Father Cigar line. This rich, bold, and flavorful cigar won Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of year in 2012. The Flor de las Antillas still shines brightly today, as a nod from Jaime to his father Pepin, who was a cigar roller in Cuba.
The My Father brand has to be one of my favorite cigar brands; not only for its family history, but more importantly, for its affordability, availability, taste, and consistency that I have experienced from each of their cigars. I only think it is right for me to review one of my favorites, my tired and true cigar for my first Simply Stogies review.
RELEASE TYPE Regular Production
ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE 2012
Typical Box Size: Boxes of 20
Production Totals: Unknown
o Toro (6″ x 52)
o Robusto (5″ x 50)
o Belicoso (5-1/2″ x 52)
o Toro Gordo (6-1/2″ x 56)
o Toro Grande (6″ x 60)
The Garcia family is steeped in cigar culture. Beginning with the grandfather, Don Jose Pepin rolling cigars in Cuba, to his nephew Alcides Monenegro, whose original artwork was chosen to be on the band. The band showcase two women harvesting green tobacco and drying it out in the sun, with palm trees in the background. The palm trees are a nod to the Cuban coat of arms. The sides of the band have bushels of flowers, reminding you of the name’s sake flor (flower in Spanish). Tucked underneath the ladies you see The Caduceus, or Staff of Hermes. This staff often represents occupations and trades associated with the gods; very fitting for tobacco’s value throughout history.
Much like everything about this cigar, the band is exquisite and was selected to represent the quality of smoke ahead of you.
The first thing you notice about the flor de las Antillas is the box pressed shape of the cigar. The squared off shape makes the stick perfect to hold onto and sits comfortably in your hand. The wrapper has a rich chocolate color. Since the cigar is pressed, the cigar is a very firm cigar. There was little give when, pressed between my fingers, but not so hard that it could be used as a weapon. The wrapper is perfectly balanced and smooth to the touch. The two Flor de las Antillas that I smoked for this review, the cap had a slight defect and was not fully seated or bonded to the wrapper. I have smoked a large number of Flor de las Antillas over the years, and I have never noticed this issue before or since.
The stick has a lovely dark, rich, nutty smell. Hints of chocolate and coffee waft from the foot of the cigar.
Given the firmness of the Flor de las Antillas, I was concerned that the cigar may have too tight of a draw. Fortunately, the cigar had the right amount of resistance, which was great given the firmness of this box pressed stick. Notes of earth and, almost an umami flavor were immediately detectable.
LIGHT & DRAW
Cut: Colibri SV — V-Cut
Fire: Vertigo Hawk
Upon toasting the cigar and taking the first draw, a light spice and pepper became prevalent and quickly faded as the flame began to heat up the tobacco leaves. The cigar took to the flame extremely well and provided a beautiful burn.
Once lit, the “flower” of Antillas provided a steady, medium smoke which had me excited me for the tasting to come.
>> Earth, Coffee, Cedar
After lighting the cigar, a creaminess of the smoke hits your pallet. The rich notes of earth jump out of the Flor de las Antillas. The earthiness mixes with a faint note of tobacco. I exhale a beautiful cloud of smoke, as the earthiness begins to bloom and gain distinction. Earth transforms into a cedar finish. The lingering cedar note is extremely pleasant, especially combining with the dark roast coffee. The light and the dark, the yin and yang. I am regretting not having a full cup of coffee with me on this sitting. The burn line requires a little touching up, but nothing concerning as the leaf begins to heat up. Taking a few more draws, the craftsmanship is apparent as the airflow is perfect. It requires very little effort pull, but not overwhelming easy. The ash begins to form, lengthening with each draw. I am able to get a clean inch. Inspecting the ash, you see cleaned burned tobacco. The cedar finish quickly leaves the palate as the flavors are rather mild.
>> Pepper, Nuts, Chocolate
The mildness of the first third begins to fade, and the Flor de las Antillas begins to pick up complexity. The creaminess gives way to a pepper note. It is faint at first. Maybe white pepper ? No, not white pepper, but black pepper. I release another beautiful cloud of smoke, and a nuttiness becomes apparent on the finish. Much like the first third, this second third parallel’s the concept of earth with a nutty finish. It is only fitting for a cigar so entrenched with nature, to evolve from earth to nut. Something else begins to creep in. This new note reminds me of something close to home, chocolate. Not bakers chocolate or bitter chocolate, but a German chocolate cake. Delicious. Taking a moment to look at the burn line, the burn is a little uneven, but I am not concerned. I have seen worse, and the tobacco is burning wonderfully and providing an excellent amount of smoke.
>> Milk Chocolate, Tobacco, Leather
Having made it to the final third of this great cigar, the burn line begins to correct itself in preparation for the end. It seems like the line is racing itself and wants to tie coming down the last straight away. Much like eating the last slice of German Chocolate cake at a birthday party, your mouth tastes sweetness and savors the flavor as you realize there is no more. I am content. The sweetness is smooth on the exhale and finish. A mild tobacco and leathery taste joins the finish. Such a beautiful ending, to remind me of what I am smoking. The cigar gifts you authenticity.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
I keep referencing nature in this stick. Maybe it is in the name “Flor,” or maybe its the flowers on the band, but this cigar screams earth. The Tasting notes mirror the growing seasons: starting off light, gaining complexity and expanding on each note, and finishing with simple and smooth flavors. Each third grows and builds on the other.
The Flor de las Antillas kept the flame going with few issues but some uneven burning. Eventually, the cigar self-corrected and I was left with a burning experience that needed only one touch-up.
0.60 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.40 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.50 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
7.00 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.50 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
My Father’s Favorite Flower
When My Father released this stick in 2012, it received much praise for a very good reason. I love this cigar, and it is one of my go to cigars for the price and quality of smoke. The band design is so complex and I noticed new details when I started writing this review. The profile is a great smoke for someone trying to get into cigars, because this cigar exemplifies what a cigar should be: artistic, enjoyable, consistent.
SIMPLY STOGIES RATING: 9.0 / 10.0
HOW WE COMPARE
I love reading other reviewers’ thoughts on the cigars I’m smoking and reviewing – it helps to show that no one review is perfect and there’s always different opinions and tastes out there. Here’s how my review stacks up with some of the best in the biz.